Rock and Fountain Cave - Paul, Helen and Cathy
The weather was damp and misty, so we were happy to be heading underground. A short entrance passage led us to the first boulder choke, where scaffold poles and two fixed ladders were in place. A low passage took us on to the second, more “interesting” choke. Next came a pitch up of about 15m up, helped by a fixed iron ladder and a knotted rope.
Travertine Passage led us onwards, offering deep welly-wrenching mud, but also beautiful straws and other formations. Continuing along this passage, we reached the wonderfully dramatic Hall of the Mountain Kings.
We had a rest and a snack here, admiring the massive flowstone apparently flowing from the lofty ceiling. Then it was time to tackle the third choke, the toughest one yet. Helen and Cathy took a steady pace, while Paul showed a ferret-like ability to get through quickly! What followed was the long straight Severn Tunnel, whose water sculptured walls were covered with sparkly crystals. This took us to a major crossroads at the start of the Lower Series. After a brief look straight ahead, we turned right into a wide highly decorated passage and admired some intricate crystal pools as we continued. Reaching the fourth choke, we decided to turn back and leave the delights of Helictite Passage for another day. The return journey went smoothly, route finding being simple and the tricky features such as crawls now being more familiar.
A great trip if you fancy something other than OFD!